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Pence Cancels NRA Convention Speech

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Indiana House GOP
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Governor Pence has canceled a planned appearance at the National Rifle Association‘s convention. Pence was among a number of Republicans – many of whom have been rumored as 2016 presidential contenders -- who were scheduled to speak at the NRA‘s annual meetings and convention in Nashville, Tennessee.

But Pence communications director Christy Denault says the governor had to cancel so he could attend the funeral of a close friend that is scheduled for Friday, the same day as the NRA‘s Leadership Forum where Pence would have appeared.

The governor spoke to the Leadership Forum when the NRA held its meeting in Indianapolis last year. Political watchers were expected to pay close attention to the speeches of Pence and others, with next year’s presidential race looming.

Only one of the two declared Republican candidates will speak to the NRA - Texas Senator Ted Cruz. Kentucky Senator Rand Paul was not invited, with Paul saying he told the gun rights group he would be busy campaigning in early primary and caucus states.

The only other prospective GOP candidate not invited was New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who has not had a good relationship with the NRA in the past.

In addition to Pence, former vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin also canceled her NRA speech at the last minute - no reason for Palin‘s cancellation was given. The NRA is scheduled to bring its convention back to Indianapolis in 2019 and 2023.